Trucker Drug Test Violations Are Up, Feds Respond
According to FMCSA data, drug-test violations went up 10% in 2021 for workers in the transportation industry.
The increase in drug positivity rates among truckers are raising safety concerns and the federal government is taking action.
A federal law that would permit carriers to drug test truckers using hair samples is still in the federal court system, and has been for six years, but with the rise in drug-test violations talks are heating up around the proposed law.
The federal government wants the transportation and logistics industry to move forward with hair testing because the detection window is longer than urine testing. In short, potential employers would be able to detect if a particular drug was possibly used by a trucker for weeks or even months before the test was taken.
Truckers have made their voice heard in opposition to the proposed ruling since the hair testing would be used in tandem with traditional urine tests. Under the proposed law, a positive hair test would then need to be confirmed with a urine test, making truckers wait even longer to complete pre-employment requirements to get on the road.
Carriers are also weary of the would-be law, because it would mean an increased cost to hire truckers and the law could contribute further to the national trucker shortage.
According to FMCSA data, marijuana is the most used drug in the trucking industry ranking 25 percent higher than all other substances combined.
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